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EL DORADO, Ark. -- When it comes to retailers earning the best average sales per square foot, it's easy to immediately assume luxury brands such as Apple Inc., Tiffany & Co., lululemon athletica and Coach Inc. would top the list.
Although all of those companies do rank in the top 10 on eMarketer's list, a surprise player finished second. Murphy USA Inc. only trails Apple when it comes to average sales per square foot. The El Dorado-based convenience store and gas retailer generated $4,221 per square foot last year, behind only Apple's $4,551, but way ahead of third-place finisher Tiffany & Co., which earned $3,043 per square foot last year.
According to Forbes, Murphy USA has a smaller in-store footprint than other convenience stores and is very effective at selling tobacco products, which it refers to as a "sin item."
"Tobacco sales combined with their small footprint has led [Murphy USA to have] an extremely high store productivity," Clark Fredricksen, vice president of product marketing for eMarketer, told the financial publication.
Other companies cracking the top 10 on the eMarketer list are Michael Kors Holdings, Kate Spade & Co., Deckers Outdoor, Birks Group and Select Comfort.
Murphy USA operates 1,214 convenience stores and gas stations in 23 states, many of which are located in Walmart store parking lots.